Background: The California dry bean industry is important for agriculture in the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valley. Three major bean types are grown, blackeye, lima, and kidney, with total bean production occurring on 80,000 to 100,000 acres annually. The industry relies on high production and excellent quality beans to maintain a competitive position in the world market. To achieve these objectives, arthropod pests must be kept to a minimum level so beans can be free of damage including bean discoloration, scarring, and yield losses. Beans are a host to numerous damaging pests. Aphids (Aphis fabae and A. craccivora), lygus bugs (Lygus hesperus), leafhoppers (Empoasca spp.) and beet armyworms (Spodoptera exigua) are primary pests and spider mites (Tetranychus spp.) and leafminers (Liriomyza spp.) are, in most cases, induced secondary pests. The list of insecticides recommended for control of bean pests is mostly organophosphates and carbamate materials, many of which are under scrutiny from regulatory agencies. The early and frequent use of these broad-spectrum insecticides often creates a disruption in the predator/pest balance and causes other pest problems.
Examples of Work during Recent Years
- To design a management plan that utilizes reduced-risk materials.
- Designing efficient sampling plans for lygus bugs.
- To examine lygus bug levels and appropriate sampling technique on bush vs. vine lima beans.
- To evaluate the effectiveness and mechanism of breeding lines of lima beans with lygus bug resistance.